Dwyane Wade opened up about parenting and fatherhood in a candid conversation on Brandon Marshall’s I AM ATHLETE podcast.
In the interview, Wade was joined by Fred Taylor, Channing Crowder, and Ryan Clark as they spoke about their families. Wade explained blending his family and supporting his daughter Zaya after coming out as transgender.
“Everything I was taught before went out the window. My sole responsibility was making sure this child is loved. I started changing the way I talked, changed the way I listened, and I started challenging people on different things,” he said.
Wade went on to address those who have criticized his parenting, like rapper Boosie.
“All the people who got something to say about my kids, I thank you,” he said. “Because you allowing the conversation to keep going forward. Because you know what? We might not have all the answers, but we’re growing from each conversation.”
Boosie previously said that Dwyane Wade had “gone too far” in his parenting for supporting his daughter Zaya’s transition.
Wade said, “I thank everybody for even hating and starting those conversations because those conversations are starting other conversations.”
“I don’t care what my kids become; all I want for them is to be happy in life and be themselves in the process of life,” Wade added. “Whoever you are or whoever you’re going to be, it’s my job to facilitate those things and help you succeed in those things. I have to understand where they’re coming from and educate myself. I come from a different school, but this isn’t the only school in town.”
Marshall hopped in and brought attention to Wade’s positive example for LGBTQ people in the Black community and allyship.
“We’ve seen people lose their lives and take their own lives,” Marshall said. “And all because they felt uncomfortable with coming to a parent and being open about who they are. There are so many fathers in our community who don’t show that unconditional love.”
Wade gave some advice on how to be more progressive and understanding.
“We grew up in a certain era, and things were a certain way,” he said. “Life evolves, and people evolve. We’re in an era now where people are more confident coming out and expressing who they are. Ultimately, when it comes to my child, I’m willing to die for mine. If you want to hurt mine, come and talk to me first. Because my child has the right to be whoever they want to be in this life. I don’t care who or what they want to do.
“When I saw an eight-year-old have the confidence to tell me who they were, there was nothing else I could do but support that because I know how hard it is. It’s hard to even as a 39-year-old man to tell the world what you really feel. I said thank you to my child for leading the way, and now we’ll take it from here because of the platform and voice that I have.”
The men debated who is the true GOAT of the NBA – Michael Jordan or LeBron James.
“LeBron is one of my good friends,” Wade said. “I have so much respect for what he’s doing now, what he’s done, and what he will eventually do. It will definitely be an argument that needs to be had. If LeBron ends up the all-time leader in points, top five in assists and rebounds, with four, five, or six championships, you have to at least have the conversation. But it’s hard to really have the conversation while he’s still putting on that jersey. When he’s done, his statistical line is going to be the greatest we’ve ever seen.”